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On the Bright Side
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The new life-affirming, hilarious and heart-warming fictional diary from the beloved octogenarian and internationally bestselling author.

About the Author

Hendrik Groen started his diaries on the literary website of Torpedo magazine. His first diary, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 Years Old, has been translated into over thirty languages and On The Bright Side went straight to Number One in its native Netherlands.

Hester Velmans is the author of two popular children's novels and an award-winning translator specializing in modern fiction. Her translation of Renate Dorrestein's A Heart of Stone won the Vondel Prize for Translation.

Reviews

I laughed until I cried and then laughed and cried some more -- David Suchet
Thoughtful, anxious and gruff... Laced with humour -- Best New Fiction * Mail on Sunday *
Full of off-beat charm and quirky characters -- Cathy Rentzenbrink * Stylist *
A story with a great deal of heart, it pulled me in with its self-deprecating humour, finely drawn characters and important themes. Anyone who hopes to grow old with dignity will have much to reflect on -- Graeme Simsion
Amusing [and] wickedly accurate ... I was constantly put in mind of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, another comi-tragedy concerning the tyranny of institutions of the unwanted. Enjoy Groen's light touch but do not be fooled by it. We live in an ageing society. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen is a handbook of resistance for our time -- ***** FIVE STARS * Sunday Express *
There are many laughs in this book but it's so much more than just a comedy. It's a story about how friendship, selflessness and dignity lie at the heart of the human experience. When I'm an old man, I want to be Hendrik Groen -- John Boyne
Highly entertaining ... a delightful and touching saga of one man's way of coping with old age ... we may assume that Hendrik Groen is a character of fiction. But it is a fiction so closely based on the observation of real life that it is utterly convincing * Daily Express *
A joy to read, as much concerned with friendship and dignity as it is with the debilitating effects of aging ... An entertaining and uplifting story of a man in the winter of his days, stoic in the face of bureaucratic nonsense and an unabashed need to wear a nappy. Imagined or not, this is the diary of someone who wants nothing more than to be allowed see out his days with dignity and respect. It's not too much to ask, really, is it? -- John Boyne * Irish Times *
Praise for The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 831/4 Years Old * - *
Very funny -- Jeremy Paxman * Financial Times *
Terrific. This geriatric Adrian Mole made me laugh -- Fanny Blake * Woman and Home *
I laughed until I cried and then laughed and cried some more -- David Suchet
So much more than just a comedy. It's a story about how friendship, selflessness and dignity lie at the heart of the human experience. When I'm an old man, I want to be Hendrik Groen. -- John Boyne
'A story with a great deal of heart, it pulled me in with its self-deprecating humour, finely drawn characters and important themes. Anyone who hopes to grow old with dignity will have much to reflect on' -- Graeme Simsion
A funny but also touching diary praised for its wit and realism * BBC Radio 4 Front Row *
Hendrik pens an expose of his care home, sets up the Old-But-Not-Dead club and relishes the arrival of a new female resident. This geriatric Adrian Mole made me laugh and think. Terrific -- Fanny Blake * Woman and Home *
Very funny * Financial Times *

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